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Fla. peaches, watermelon delayed; more Calif. storms

The start of Florida's peach and watermelon crops, for which harvesting should have started, has been pushed back to around April 1 due to cold weather the last two weeks.


Of the peach crop, Sonia Tighe of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association and Steven Callaham of Dundee Citrus Growers Association both said the cool weather has not damaged the fruit in any way and the season should still last eight solid weeks, going through the end of May. The Florida peach crop is approximately 1,500 to 2,000 acres and quality looks good, according to Callaham.

Some peach-growing regions in Georgia have been experiencing freezing temps during the last week as well.

Florida is expected to continue with cold weather at least through Thursday, March 15. Palmetto/ Ruskin should see highs in the 60s, lows in the 40s through Thursday; Immokalee will have highs in low 70s, lows in 40s; Belle Glade 70s and 40s; Plant City 60s and 40s; and Alachua 60s and 30s. Don’t expect any relief of the cold weather until this weekend, with lows finally moving into the 60s. Reduced supply will continue on all products out of Florida.

Mexican lime deal: Persian limes out of Veracruz looking at more rain and cool weather through Wednesday, March 14; expect reduced volumes to continue. Key limes out of Colima and Michoacan are getting perfect weather.

California continues with cold weather and chances of rain as far as the eye can see. Three more storms are lined up to hit growing regions along the coast of California and in the San Joaquin Valley through the end of the next week. Salinas can expect another two inches of rain from today through next week with highs in the upper 50/low 60s and lows in the 40s. It's the same for Castroville and Santa Maria. Check with shippers about availability of vegetables out of these regions.

Strawberries: Despite the colder weather, Florida is still the big player in the strawberry deal right now with well over 250 loads per week coming out of the state. Mexico is beginning to wind down their season with crossings averaging 130 loads per week the last three weeks out of central Mexico and about 30 loads per week out of Baja California. Oxnard and Santa Maria, CA, are shipping light volumes and Watsonville, CA, is just starting. With cold and rain in California, it might be a while before we see good volumes come out of the state.

The Sonora region of Mexico will experience cooler temps later this week into next week with highs only in to the mid-70s and lows in the low 50s. Normal temps this time of year are highs in the upper 80s and lows in the upper 60s. Squash is coming out of this area right now.

If you have a special request for a commodity or location please let the Weathermelon team know. 

The Weathermelon app offers consolidated lists of global growing regions for each commodity; a 10-day detail forecast for each region; current radar maps (U.S. only); estimated harvest start/end dates for each commodity; monthly average high/low temps for each region; and custom daily alerts for temperature, precipitation and severe weather based on 10-day forecasts.

(David Robidoux is a co-founder Weathermelon)